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GEORGE TOWN – Sarawak DAP has been told to prepare for Pujut by-election after Dr Ting Tiong Choon was disqualified as a member of the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly yesterday.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said he was shocked by the decision of the Sarawak State Assembly to disqualify Dr Ting as Pujut State Assemblyman and regarded it as politically motivated.

The Penang chief minister said the Election Court had rejected the election petition for Pujut state seat filed by Barisan Nasional (BN) who claimed that Dr Ting had Australian citizenship after registering as a voter in Australia.

“We will challenge this matter in court. At the same time, I have directed Sarawak DAP to prepare for a by-election,” he told reporters after launching a waste separation programme at Punca, Kadun Air Putih, today.

In October last year, Election Court Judge P. Ravinthran rejected a petition brought by BN candidate Datuk Hii King Chiong and ordered the petitioner to pay RM80,000 costs to the respondent, Dr Ting.

Guan Eng said the Election Court had decided that it was a legitimate election but the Sarawak State Assembly decided to ignore the decision by tabling a motion calling for the removal of Dr Ting.

“The Penang State Assembly can also call for a motion to disqualify a member but we do not do so because of democracy.

“We respect the choice of the people, if there is a technical problem, let it be decided in court,” he added.

Dr Ting was disqualified after the motion to disqualify his membership was tabled by Sarawak Minister of International Trade and E-Commerce, Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh in the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly yesterday. – BERNAMA

BUTTERWORTH – PAS’ move to declare DAP as its main enemy in the 14th General Election (GE14) shows the party has ‘lost its way’ in politics, and that it will only serve to benefit Barisan Nasional (BN), says DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.

Lim added that as a former ally of DAP, PAS’ action did not make any sense.

“So here, it is clear that PAS, in terms of its political struggle has lost its way and it forgets who is the ally, who is the enemy..by right PAS’ main enemy should be BN,” he told reporters after a briefing session on current issues here, today.

He was commenting on a statement by Penang PAS representative Yusni Mat Piah that BN was no longer PAS’ main opposition in GE14, and in fact it was DAP, because the latter was against the Islamic agenda.

During the debate on the president’s speech held in conjunction with the 63rd PAS Muktamar in Kedah yesterday, Yusni also considered Pakatan Harapan (PH) – comprising DAP, Parti Keadilan Rakyat, Parti Amanah Negara and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia – as the Islamic party’s main opposition.

Lim, who is also Penang Chief Minister, said PH did not intend to meet with the PAS leadership to discuss the matter, but rather continue efforts to strengthen the pact. – BERNAMA

GEORGE TOWN – DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng today refuted an allegation by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang that DAP had sought foreign intervention in Malaysian affairs.

Abdul Hadi had made a baseless allegation which could be regarded as slander against DAP because he had not disclosed any evidence, he said to reporters here.

He said he hoped that Abdul Hadi could furnish proof and name the leader who had sought such foreign intervention.

Lim, who is the Penang chief minister, said the DAP had never associated itself with such a thing.

Abdul Hadi had allegedly made the claim during a talk in Marang, Terengganu. – BERNAMA

GEORGE TOWN – The DAP-led Penang government is insisting that it will table a motion to condemn Datuk Shabudin Yahaya over his comments in the Dewan Rakyat on allowing rapists to marry their victims when the State Assembly sits in May.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the motion was not aimed at taking revenge against the Tasek Gelugor MP but instead in the interest of the public because his comments had caused outrage.

He said this at a press conference here today in responding to a statement by Penang UMNO chief Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Osman yesterday who described the plan to table the motion as act of revenge following the revelation by Shabudin in Parliament last year on purchase of real estate at below market price by Lim.

Zainal Abidin also said that Penang UMNO would be asking Penang opposition leader Datuk Jahara Hamid to table a motion to call for Lim to resign as Chief Minister when the assembly sits on May 19.

Shabudin, when debating the Sexual Offences Against Children Bill 2017 in the Dewan Rakyat on April 4, had said that allowing rapists to marry their victims in certain cases could serve as a remedy to the increasing number of social problems, which caused public outrage.

On Penang UMNO’s plan to table a motion to ask him to step down, Lim said that he did not have problems with that and would leave it to the Speaker to make a decision on it. – BERNAMA

GEORGE TOWN – The corruption trial of Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and businesswoman Phang Li Koon set for March 27 has been postponed until their appeal to challenge the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act is settled.

High Court Judge Datuk Hadhariah Syed Ismail allowed the application by counsel Gobind Singh Deo, who represented Lim, to stay the trial pending the outcome of their appeal in the Court of Appeal, and set April 25 for case management.

On March 7, the court rejected a petition by Lim and Phang to declare Section 62 of the MACC Act 2009 as unconstitutional and void.

Lim and Phang filed the application in January this year. Section 62 states that once the prosecution submits documents pursuant to Section 51A of the Criminal Procedure Code, the accused shall, before the trial begins, submit the following documents: (a) a statement of defence and (b) a copy of any document that can be
presented as part of the evidence for the defence.

On June 30 last year, Lim pleaded not guilty to charges of corruption in the conversion of land from agriculture to housing, and the purchase of a plot of land and bungalow at below market value.

For the first charge, Lim was accused as a civil servant, namely the Penang Chief Minister, of using his position to obtain gratification for himself and his wife, Betty Chew Gek Cheng, by approving the conversion of agricultural land to residential in the southwest of Penang for a company, Magnificient Emblem Sdn Bhd.

Lim, 56, allegedly committed the offence while chairing a meeting of the Penang State Planning Committee in the Operations Room, 8th Floor, Komtar tower on July 18, 2014.

He was charged under Section 23 of the MACC Act 2009 which provides for a jail-term of up to 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the amount of graft involved, or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.

On the second charge, Lim was accused as a civil servant of obtaining for himself a plot of land and a bungalow at No 25, Jalan Pinhorn, George Town, at a price which he knew did not commensurate with its value from Phang, at RM2.8 million, when its market value at the time was RM4.27 million.

He allegedly committed the offence at No 25, Jalan Pinhorn, George Town, on July 28, 2015 in accordance with Section 165 of the Penal Code which provides for a jail term of up to two years, or fine, or both upon conviction.

Phang, as the former owner of the bungalow, pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiring with Lim for him to obtain the bungalow at below market price at the same place and date.

The businesswoman was charged under Section 109 of the Penal Code read together with Section 165, which provides for a jail term of up to two years, or fine, or both, if convicted.

Outside the court, Gobind told reporters he had filed a notice of appeal at the Court of Appeal against the court’s decision to reject his client’s petition.

“Should the Court of Appeal allow the appeal, it will affect any defence during the trial. In this situation, it’s better to have the Court of Appeal hear and decide on the issue before this (corruption) case takes place,” he said.

Meanwhile, DPP Datuk Masri Mohd Daud said the prosecution agreed with the counsel’s application to suspend the corrption trial after considering all the factors.

He said they were also in the process of requesting the Court of Appeal to expedite the hearing. – BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – The application filed by Lim Guan Eng to set aside the leave obtained by the Attorney-General (AG) to initiate committal proceeding against him will he heard on July 14.

High Court Judge Datuk Hanipah Farikullah set the date in chambers in the presence of senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan representing the AG, Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali, and lawyer Gobind Singh Deo representing Lim.

Speaking to reporters, Gobind said the application was initially scheduled to be heard today, but was postponed as they needed more time to change and scrutinise the affidavits pertaining to the application.

The AG as the plaintiff had filed an ex-parte originating summons regarding the matter on Aug 18 and had named Lim as the defendant.

In it, the AG had sought leave for the committal proceeding to have Lim jailed for contempt-of-court for allegedly issuing statements in the print and/or social media which were detrimental to the administration of justice, lead to erosion of the people’s confidence in the judicial system and questioned the dignity and integrity of the courts.

The AG is also seeking costs and other relief deemed fit by the court.

He said the action was taken to ensure the sanctity and integrity of the judiciary and the justice system in the country was always protected and not criticised, shamed and insulted according to one’s whims and fancies.

He added that contempt-of-court should be frowned upon failing which doubts could arise on the administration of justice in the country.

According to the AG, the statements made by Lim at a press conference in George Town, Penang, that the corruption charges against the Bagan MP were a conspiracy and that he (Lim) would be jailed, could be clearly interpreted as the courts were also being roped in on “trumped up corruption charges”.

Last Sept 21, the court granted leave for the AG to initiate committal proceeding against Lim.

On June 30, 2016, Lim pleaded not guilty at the Penang High Court to corruption charges relating to the changing of status of a parcel of land from agricultural zone to housing development zone and purchase of a bungalow at below market price. – BERNAMA

PETALING JAYA: The unexpected resignation of four Malacca DAP elected representatives has given Barisan Nasional a gift ahead of the forthcoming general election, said Lim Guan Eng.

The DAP secretary-general added that the four could not accept their rejection by party members during the 2015 state party convention.

He said that any member who loved the party would have communicated policy differences with the leadership but none of them did so.

“They appear confused as to what policy differences they are unhappy about. They also seem confused about the rationale for resigning, which appears more to be an act of personal retaliation for their defeat in the Malacca state party elections and subsequent suspension for one year,” Lim said in a statement on Monday.

On Sunday, Kota Melaka MP Sim Tong Him and three state assemblymen dropped a bombshell by quitting the party.

Sim said the four had quit because the DAP now has no proper direction and had deviated from its core objectives.

The other three who quit are former Malacca DAP chairman Goh Leong San (DAP-Duyong), Lim Jak Wong (DAP-Bachang) and Chin Choon Seong (DAP-Kesidang).

Lim, who is the Penang Chief Minister claimed that he was mistaken to trust Sim and his faction leaders despite their differences with the DAP Central Executive Committee(CEC).

“I am saddened to hear Sim saying that he leaves the party he joined for nearly 35 years without any heartache,” said Lim who added that their resignations were unexpected.

Lim said the party did not change but that Sim and his faction changed after their defeat.

He claimed that they focused their attacks on the party rather than on Barisan Nasional’s corruption scandals or the excesses of the Malacca Chief Minister.

“Instead of working to win back the confidence of Malacca DAP members, they turned against DAP for spurning them, leading to a one year suspension by the party,” he said.

He added that DAP members and leaders must pick themselves up from their betrayal, saying that no individual was bigger than the party.

Lim said the he and several executive leaders of the party would hold a meeting with Malacca DAP leaders on Tuesday.

 

GEORGE TOWN – “The party has not changed but instead, remained the same.

“However, Kota Melaka MP Sim Tong Him and his faction have changed after their defeat.”

In saying this, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said the four elected representatives were focusing their attacks on the party rather than on corruption scandals and excesses in the state after their defeat in the 2015 state party elections.

“Instead of working to win back the confidence of DAP Melaka members, they have turned against the DAP for allegedly spurning them, leading to a one-year suspension by the party,” he said in a statement here today.

Besides Sim, the other assemblymen who quit DAP are Lim Jak Wong (Bachang), Goh Leong San (Duyong) and Chin Choon Seong (Kesidang).

Lim admitted his mistake in trusting that Sim and his faction leaders would remain loyal to DAP and the party’s campaign to save Malaysia despite their differences with the DAP Central Executive Committee.

“I am saddened to hear Sim say he left the party without heartache despite having been a member for nearly 35 years,” he said.

Lim said DAP could have taken disciplinary action against Sim when he stood as independent candidate in the 2013 General Election against a DAP candidate for the Kota Laksamana seat.

“However, the party believed he was misguided and still loyal to the DAP and the people.”

Describing the resignation of the four as unexpected, he said none of them had conveyed to him, the party’s acting national chairman Tan Kok Wai or national organising secretary Anthony Loke on the purported policy differences.

“They appear confused as to what policy differences they are unhappy about. They also seem confused on the rationale for resigning, which appears more to be an act of personal retaliation over their defeat in the Melaka state party elections and subsequent suspension for one year,” he added.

Come Tuesday, Lim said he would go to Melaka to hold a meeting at 8pm with Melaka DAP leaders and members. – BERNAMA

BAGAN DATUK – Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng should take proactive steps to reduce the number of fatal road accidents and not politicise the installation of the Automated Enforcement System (AES) cameras on the island.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the government’s decision to install the AES cameras was to educate road users to be careful and always alert when driving.

“He should not bring up the issue and politicise it. He should be concerned about how to help reduce road accidents, regardless of our political differences,” he told the media after the launch of the official WeChat application account ‘My Perak’ in Hutan Melintang near here today.

He was commenting on Lim’s recent statement that no AES cameras would be allowed to be installed in Penang.

According to Liow, the cameras would only be installed upon the request of the local authorities.

“If the local authorities and agencies involved do not request, then we will not install the AES cameras,” he said.

In a separate development, Liow said the Transport Ministry was prepared to build a pedestrian walkway at Sultan Azlan Shah Airport (LTSAS) in Ipoh.

He said he would work with the state government to resolve the problem faced by airport users whenever it rained, particularly passengers going to the aircrafts.

“I have visited LTSAS and see two solutions – one is using bus service to take the passengers from the departure hall to the aircraft.

“However, there is a problem with using the buses as there is very limited space in the airport,” he said.

Liow added that the ministry was looking at the second option of providing a pedestrian walkway from the departure hall to the aircrafts.

“The ministry is prepared to build a pedestrian walkway and I think Malaysia Airport Holdings Berhad (MAHB) will also not have a problem with this.

“We will continue discussing this with the state government and they can forward a request to the ministry,” he said. – BERNAMA

GEORGE TOWN – The High Court here today ordered the New Straits Times Press(M) Bhd (NSTP) to pay RM300,000 damages to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng for defamation.

Justice Datuk Rosilah Yop made the decision after allowing Lim’s lawsuit against NSTP, the first defendant in regard to an article published by Berita Harian on the settlement of his defamation suit against Bagan UMNO chief Datuk Dr Shaik Hussein.

The court also ordered NSTP to pay RM35,000 cost and interest of five per cent on the judgement to the plaintiff.

In March 2016, Lim sued NSTP for publishing an article allegedly defamatory to him in its newspaper, ‘Berita Harian’ on Aug 20, 2015 about his withdrawal the day before, of a lawsuit against the state UMNO Youth chief.

In his statement of claim, he said the defendant had the legal, social and moral obligation to practise responsible journalism.

In her judgement, Rosilah held that the article published by Berita Harian was defamatory to the plaintiff.

“The plaintiff succeeded in establishing his case on the balance of probabilities against the defendant,” she held.

She said the rectification made by NSTP after the publication of the article was also not satisfactory to the plaintiff.

Lim was represented by counsel Simon Murali while NSTP’s lawyer was Leong Wai Hong.

Meanwhile, Leong told reporters when met that he was awaiting instructions from his client as to whether to file an appeal or not. – BERNAMA